Courtesy of John Richardson on Twitter, I came across this post which supports a claim that pro-gun women’s voices haven’t been heard in the current debate on gun control. They argue that gun control is all they hear out of women’s voices at the moment. I totally disagree with this premise, but unlike the CBS article and accompanying blog post, I’ve going to back my argument up with evidence.
As I tweeted back to John, there was the highly publicized feature of Jessie Duff on Fox News where she was featured as the expert on firearms. In next week’s Senate hearing on gun control, a woman will be one of the pro-Second Amendment speakers. I also immediately thought of the coverage here in Pennsylvania of the big pro-gun rally last Saturday which featured a female NRA board member. They also interviewed another woman in the audience who supported Second Amendment rights.
But I’ll concede that’s just what I could think of off the top of my head. To do a little more research on the gender divide of pro-gun versus anti-gun, I went through several pages of Google News results on the term “gun control” and selected random articles on different gun law-related news from the last day and a half. Here’s what I found:
- Letter to the Editor, Peoria Journal Star – anti-rights; written by a man
- Report on DC gun control march, New York Daily News – 2 anti-rights protestors; both men
- Report on gun show attendance, NBC Los Angeles – 3 pro-rights, all men
- Expectations for gun control hearing, Hartford Courant – 2 pro, 2 anti; all men
- Report on gun show attendance, ABC Lincoln, Nebraska – 3 pro-rights; 2 men, 1 woman
- Gun rights rally report, Indiana – 4 pro-rights; 1 woman, 2 men, 1 unidentified
- Report on pro-rights rally, Atlanta Constitution-Journal – 1 anti-rights, 3 pro-rights; 1 woman (anti), 3 men
- Letter to the Editor, Portage Daily Register – anti-rights; written by a man
As you can see from this quick and dirty survey of outlets around the country, there are more men quoted and writing to newspapers in support of gun control than women, and women are often featured as being pro-gun nearly as much as men. Is it perfectly balanced? No. But, considering that the shooting sports and gun ownership have been pretty overwhelmingly male-dominated for a long time. That’s changing, and I actually do think that is reflected in the media narrative.
In fact, I think that the growing visible involvement of women in the Second Amendment movement is why you don’t see us getting steamrolled right now. There’s a little secret that politicians already know. That secret is that once women get involved with something, they often get loud and visible about it, and the bring the whole family on board. In all of the pro-gun political volunteer work I’ve done, the offices are full of predominantly women. So, while there may still be more men quoted in all of the articles, whether for our rights or against us, the fact that there are still quite a few female pro-Second Amendment voices being heard speaks volumes.